Jack's parole officer who's name is Normandy, tells him "15 will get him 20". This is an actual quote uttered by Lulu in "Streetwise", the documentary this film is based on. See more »
Near the end of the movie, the ferry is leaving Seattle (towards Bainbridge Island or Bremerton). However a few seconds later we see the boat wake with the Olympic Mountains in the distance indicating the boat is headed towards Seattle, not away from it. See more »
[Jack is coughing because of the smoke from the hot dogs on the grill]
Am I the only one in here who can't breathe?
Alright Nick, we're getting fixicated in here. Open that window.
[Jack hands one of them a hot dog on a bun]
Is there any Ketchup?
Oh. Uh- ooh.
[Charlotte gets out of the car to get the Ketchup]
You were staring at her like a Goddamn yard bull. That's one fine lady, what do you got to say for yourself?
[...] See more »
I first heard about this movie when it was filming in Seattle, my home. Being a fan of Jeff Bridges, I had to see it when it was released. I now own it on video, and it is one of my favorites.
The Seattle locations are used well, but the basic story could happen anywhere. Ex-con Bridges tries to build a life for himself and his estranged son after his release from prison. There are subplots dealing with a pen-pal romance and Jack's ex-partner, but the focus is on the father-son relationship. What makes the film fascinating is the texture and depth of Bridges' performance. Jack is not too smart, a drunk, and flat broke. He is thrown into a harsh, uncompromising world at the very bottom rung, and somehow must find a way to survive AND stay straight. As he gradually takes responsibility for his son, Nick, he regains his self-esteem and humanity. Bridges shows us all this with humor, honesty, and zero sentimentality. He never shies away from exposing Jack's flaws, but also imbues him with a raw sort of nobility. Flashback sequences drawing a parallel between young Jack and Nick add a layer of poignancy.
There is level of verisimilitude and frankness in "American Heart" that contemporary, mainstream American movies rarely exhibit. In form it greatly resembles Dustin Hoffman's remarkable "Straight Time", but this film is about relationships, not crime. If all you want from a movie is escapism, stay away. Those who like to wander near the Edge will be rewarded.
"you keep me straight, I'll keep you straight"
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this